Yorkers will have to wait at least another five to eight weeks before a Philadelphia public radio station can broadcast on 88.7 FM.

The regulation process with the Federal Communications Commission has been slower than expected for the station XPN, said general manager Roger LaMay.

"The good news is that it could happen literally any day now," he said about FCC approval.

And in early to mid-October, the public radio station could start broadcasting its full programming line up from the tower it acquired.

XPN is a "Triple A music" station, a station that plays "Adult Album Alternative" music, such as rock, roots, blues and folk. The station is a no-commercial public radio service with a license out of the University of Pennsylvania.

XPN in June announced its decision to buy a radio transmitter from WZXM in Middletown, Dauphin County, in order to expand into south-central Pennsylvania. The total cost to expand the broadcast reach is expected to be about $3.5 million, LaMay said.

The purchase was funded with donations from the community and a fund reserve the station has for expansions such as this.

Once approved by the FCC, LaMay hopes to immediately start broadcasting a limited amount of programming on the channel 88.7 FM, such as music mixes without a disc jockey.

It will take until about October for the station to formally close the deal, he said, and begin full programming.

LaMay is optimistic about the opportunities in an expanded south-central Pennsylvania audience.


It currently has a weak signal that broadcasts only in Harrisburg City.

"It's been our suspicion, and I believe this still holds true, that there's a hunger for what we do out there," he said.

- Reach Charles Schillinger at 505-5431 or cschillinger@yorkdispatch.com.